Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is a “pathetic” figure who is also “irrelevant,” U.S. negotiator Jared Kushner said Thursday. Kushner spoke to reporters, responding to a proposed joint press conference with Olmert and Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas against the “Deal of the Century” peace plan.
Speaking to reporters after a U.N. Security Council session discussing the plan, Kushner said “it is almost pathetic that they are criticizing other people’s efforts to try and reach an agreement. It comes from a lot of jealousy that they couldn’t do it themselves,” The Associated Press quoted Kushner as saying.
Olmert should be helping encourage support of the plan instead of tearing it down, Kushner added. As for Abbas, Kushner said that he was against the plan from the start. “He calls for days of rage in response and he said that before he even saw the plan,” and that was unacceptable. Neither made any substantial contributions to the peace process” when they had the chance.” Their failure to do so was at the root of their opposition to the plan proffered by President Trump, “and I see that as disrespectful,” Kushner said.
Abbas claimed that the United States did not share its plan with the PA before it was introduced, but Kushner said that he was lying, saying that he met with Abbas four times to discuss the plans. Apparently, the PA chief did not like what he was being told. “They chose to no longer meet with us,” adding that leaders who are truly interested in peace do not call for “days of rage.”
Yisrael Hayom quoted senior PA officials as saying that the press conference was the idea of Olmert’s advisors. The former prime minister and recently released felon is in New York, and Abbas is set to visit there next week. The officials said that Abbas had yet to decide on whether or not to conduct the press conference with Olmert.